Tayu, the nun of his old nurse, told Genji that the
Hitachi was living alone and consoling herself by playing the koto,
a Japanese lute. The prince was touched by the story and visited her in spring.
The moon was beautiful and nearly full. The Princess was regarding the garden
and enjoying the delicate fragrance of plum blossoms. Tayu
did not mention to her that Genji was near and asked her to play the koto.
Though her touch was not particularly distinguished, he found it very pleasing.
Listening to the music of the
koto, Genji approached the main
hall. When he leaned to the bamboo
fence to see her closer, there was someone before him. He
thought that it must be a young man who had come to see the Princess
Hitachi and fell back in the shadows. Then the man talked to him: it was his friend
To-no-Chujo. They left the palace together that evening.
To-no-Chujo was puzzled
when they parted, because Genji had gone neither to his Sanjo mansion where his
wife lived or his own at Nijo. He followed Genji to find out where he would go.
Genji regretted being thoughtless.
The preparation for the outing in October had started more than
a month before. The Emperor Kiritsubo was set to visit Sujakuin Palace. Young
sons passed their time practicing at dance and music. Not only the flute was
loud, but also the big drums brought out onto the veranda pounded. Genji also
participated in the rehearsals. He was busy and forgot about the Princess
On a snowy night, Genji visited
Hitachi after a long interval. When the daylight came, he was surprised to
see her. She was not at all beautiful, and was wearing an old-style
dress, which was wrong for the young princess. The gate was ruined and leaning
in the snow. The aged gatekeeper and his daughter tried to open the gate, but it
took a long time to open it until his men pushed. He was extremely sorry for her
and resolved to support her.
|After the meeting of the New Year, Genji visited the
Hitachi feeling sorry for her. But her
red nose emerged in profile, which discouraged him again. Back at Nijo, his Murasaki
was pretty indeed. He asked himself why he sought other woman when he
had lovely Murasaki at home. She was drawing sketches. Genji also drew a lady
with a red nose and painted his nose red as well.
Resumed by Mary Nagase.
Published by UNESCO.© UNESCO 2000